COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio schools are no longer required to report COVID-19 cases among students and staff to their local health departments in most situations, the Ohio Department of Health announced Thursday. 

What You Need To Know

  • Ohio is ending a requirement for schools to report cases

  • Officials said the change takes effect immediately

  • The state has reported 200K+ student cases this year

The one exception to this change is when COVID-19 tests are performed by schools, in which case reporting is still required, Ohio Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said.

“As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations here in Ohio, and frankly across the nation, have continued to drop, the Ohio Department of Health is easing requirements for case reporting for our K-12 schools," Vanderhoff said.

For months, the Ohio Department of Health updated a dashboard on a weekly basis tracking COVID-19 cases in each school district. 

Since the start of the school year, there have been 201,443 cases among students and 42,996 cases among staff.

The state’s dashboard included case counts for full-time or part-time students and staff members who tested positive or diagnosed with COVID-19. The dashboard did not include colleges.

School officials should continue to monitor the virus levels in their community in coordination with local health officials, Vanderhoff said. 

The state communicated with local health departments that this change does not affect quarantine or isolation guidance for schools, he said. Ohio’s “Mask to Stay/Test to Play” protocols for schools will remain in effect. 

“Mask to Stay/Test to Play supports in-person learning for students by allowing any student exposed to COVID-19, but who was not symptomatic, not positive, to remain in school while appropriately and consistently wearing a mask,” Vanderhoff said.

Ohio also announced Thursday it will transition from daily to weekly reporting of COVID-19 numbers, including cases, hospitalizations and deaths, among other metrics.

“As the days and weeks pass, it becomes increasingly clear that not only are we leaving the omicron surge behind us, but we're entering a new phase of our experience with COVID-19,” Vanderhoff said. “The situation is improving, and our experience with COVID-19 is evolving from that of a pandemic to more of an endemic state.”